The umbrella body of private and independent television and radio stations in Nigeria, the Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria, IBAN, says dealing with the security challenges facing the country requires the collective resolve, determination, commitment and resilience of all Nigerians.
The body in a statement signed by its Chairman Guy Murray Bruce and Vice Chairman, Ahmed Tijjani Ramalan, said the discordant tunes and actions that have accompanied heightened incidences of insecurity in different parts of the country have exposed the nation’s susceptibility to centrifugal forces of regionalism, ethnicity and religion.
It stressed that the unnecessary tension this has generated in the polity portends great danger for the peace, unity and corporate existence of the country, hence the need for government and stakeholders to examined the issue of amnesty for bandits in all its ramifications so as to avoid creating a conflict out of another conflict.
While it okayed amnesty for bandits If it is considered a viable option to end the spate of kidnappings, the body urged the government to give the idea of state police an urgent consideration.
Despite the security challenges facing the country, the statement said IBAN will continue to work within the context of the role of the media as the watchdog and conscience of the society in the overall interest of Nigeria.
It expressed strong faith in the unity, indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as solemnly declared in the constitution.
On the Covid 19 pandemic, IBAN, promised to continue to partner with the Federal Government to face the challenges occasioned by the pandemic in the area of free airtime by all IBAN member Stations to further enlighten and educate Nigerians on the health benefits of taking safety precautions and encourage Nigerians to get vaccinated when the vaccines become widely available from March 2021.
It also announced a presentation worth #500m of airtime to the presidential task force, PTF on Covid 19 to work out modalities for the next nationwide TV and radio campaigns.